According to statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive, being struck by a moving object at work accounts for more than 10% of injuries in the food and drink sector that are reported to HSE every year. Being struck by a moving object at work can leave you injured and unable to carry out your job and as such you could be entitled to seek compensation from your employer for the injuries you sustained, to find out more please read on.
The Statistics Involving Workers Being Struck by a Moving Object
The statistics that cover being struck by a moving object in the workplace account for around 700 employees being injured in this manner with around 100 of the incidents causing major damage and injuries to the workers involved. The types of incidents that leave a employee injured whether their injuries slight or more severe are as follows:
- One third of injuries sustained by workers are caused by items falling on them – an example being objects falling from storage racks
- One quarter of injuries sustained by employees are as a result of using hand tools with knives being high on the list
- A third of injuries sustained by workers are caused by collisions with moving vehicles – an example being moving pallet trucks, forklift trucks and other vehicles commonly used in a working environment
If you were involved in a workplace accident that involved being struck by a moving object, you could be entitled to file a personal injury claim against your employer, providing your case meets the specific criteria required.
Your Employer’s Responsibility in the Workplace
Your employer has a legal duty to ensure you are kept safe from injury and harm while in their employment. Failure to do so could result in them being deemed liable for any injuries you sustain if you are struck by a moving object at work. An essential factor when it comes to an employer’s responsibility in the workplace, is to carry out frequent and detailed risk assessments of the environment you work in and to place a lot of focus on any hazards that may involved being struck by a moving object.
With this said, it is worth noting that you could be struck by something at any time whether it’s a moving forklift, falling object or suffering a knife wound should you work in an environment that involves using hand knives. In short, it would be your employer’s responsibility to set in place all “reasonable” measures to ensure you are less likely to be struck by a moving object at work.
Your employer must abide by the Health and Safety Executive regulations at all times and all employees are bound to respect these “rules” as well. The methods to reduce the risk of being struck by a moving object at work, includes the following:
- To ensure that all items/object that are stored at height whether on shelving or other means, are stacked correctly and that the shelving is stable, namely that it would not be easily disturbed which could result in objects falling from a height that could end up injuring an employee who is working below
- Heavier items/objects must be stacked at lower levels and the lighter ones higher up
- Special consideration must be placed on how items/objects are stacked, handled and moved to reduce the risk of injury to employees
- Gas cylinders and other taller self-standing articles must be stored securely to ensure they are stable
- Hand tools such as knives must be correctly and safely stored. Knives must be sheathed when they are not being used
- Employees who regularly use hand knives in the course of their daily work, must be provided with the correct personal protective clothing/equipment depending on the jobs they are tasked to regularly do
- Hand tools must be correctly maintained and kept in top condition to prevent employees having to use undue force when using them
- Pallet trucks, racks, trolleys and other moving vehicles should only be used on “designated routes” and away from other employees whenever possible. Anyone pushing or pulling a trolley must have good visibility
- Risk assessments must be carried out in areas where hazards and dangers are known to be more an issue – examples being where hoist hooks are used, or items are ejected from equipment/machines, or where kegs and barrels are rolled
Should an employer fail in any of the above, they could be deemed liable for the injuries you sustained by being struck by a moving object at work. In short, you could have the right to seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim against your employer.
What Can I Include in My Struck By a Moving Object at Work Claim?
Accident at work claims are divided into two parts when it comes to calculating how much you may receive when your case is upheld whether by a judge or in an “out of court” settlement. The two parts are known as “general damages” and “special damages”.
The way general damages are calculated are a little more complicated than the way special damages are worked out. The reason being that general damages are awarded for the injuries you sustained and how your life and well-being have been impacted by the injuries you sustained when struck by a moving object at work. In short, if you have suffered catastrophic, life-changing injuries, the compensation you may be awarded would be far greater than if you suffered less severe injuries.
Special damages are much easier to calculate as they are based on the “actual” expenses, costs and other out-of-pocket expenses you had to deal with as a result of having been injured in an accident at work. As such, when calculating the compensation for being struck by a moving object at work, a court or your employer’s insurance provider would need proof of all your expenses in order to work out how much you may receive in special damages which is why it is essential that you can provide evidence in the way of receipts of all your out of pocket expenses.
Who Pays the Compensation on a Successful Struck by Moving Object Claim?
If you were in an accident that left you injured because you were struck by a moving object at work, you could be entitled to seek compensation but only if your claim meets specific criteria which is that the incident occurred through employer negligence and it happened in the last 3 years.
If you want to make a personal injury claim against an employer, the best thing to do is to contact a lawyer who specialises in this type of work-related injury claim. The solicitor would investigate your claim to establish whether it is valid and to assess whether you stand a good chance of winning a level of compensation you deserve.
With this said, the solicitor would agree to sign a No Win No Fee agreement with you and once this is done, they would communicate either with your employer directly to begin with, or with your employer’s insurance provider. All employers in the United Kingdom are obliged by law to hold liability insurance for such an eventuality. As such, it would be your employers insurer who would handle your claim and who would agree a settlement whether your case goes to court or is settled beforehand, which is referred to as being “settled out of court”.
What are My Workers Rights If I Am Struck By a Moving Object at Work?
As previously mentioned, your worker’s rights are protected and this includes following an incident that leaves you injured when you are struck by a moving object at work. Your rights are detailed as follows:
- You have the right to seek compensation for the workplace injuries you sustained
- That your job and position within a company/business is safe should you make a personal injury claim against your employer
There are many laws and government legislation that are set in place to protect employees, all of which both an employer and worker must respect and adhere to. If you are struck by a moving object at work due to employer negligence, you have the right to seek compensation without fear of being treated unfairly or discriminated against.
Should an employer treat you detrimentally or threaten you in any way because you seek compensation for injuries you suffered as a result of having been struck by a moving object, you should get in touch with a solicitor who would advise you on whether you could take further legal action out against your employer, this includes filing a detrimental claim.
Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing a Struck by a Moving Object Claim Against Them?
An employer cannot sack you because you seek compensation from them for injuries you suffered in the workplace. If you were struck by a moving object at work and your injuries were such that you were unable to work whether for a short time or longer, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and to be awarded the compensation you sought.
Should your employer threaten to fire you or to make you redundant, they would be breaking the law and as such, you should seek legal advice from an employment lawyer before doing anything which includes resigning from your job because you are put under duress.
Is There a Time Limit to Making a Struck by Moving Object Claim?
If you are considering making a struck by moving object claim against your employer and you are certain that your case meets all the required criteria, it is best to begin filing a claim as soon as possible. The reason being that there is a statutory 3 year time limit associated with all personal injury claims.
Although 3 years from the date you were injured at work, may seem like long enough to wait a while, gathering all the necessary evidence can be a long drawn out process. With this said, should the incident that left you injured have happened prior to your 18th birthday, the 3 year time limit would only commence when you turn 18 years of age.
What Are the Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on a Struck by Moving Object Claim?
Working with a solicitor on a struck by moving object claim offers many benefits and advantages, some of which are listed below:
- A lawyer would be able to tell you whether you have a valid claim against your employer and would do so in a no obligation, initial consultation which is normally free of charge
- Once a solicitor confirms your case against an employer is strong, they would typically agree to sign a No Win No Fee agreement with you. This means not having to pay a retainer or any ongoing fees
- The amount you would pay a No Win No Fee lawyer is set out in the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) you signed which is referred to as a “success fee” because you only have to pay it when you win your claim and the amount is deducted from the money you receive in a final settlement
- Lawyers have access to legal libraries which they can reference when defending your claim in court
- A solicitor would ensure you are examined by specialists and consultants who would provide essential medical reports detailing the extent of your injuries and how your life has been impacted which includes whether you would be able to work again
- A solicitor would also ensure you receive a fair and acceptable level of compensation should your employer’s insurance provider offer to settle you struck by a moving object claim, “out of court”
- Should your claim be complex and therefore a final settlement would take time to agree, a solicitor would ensure that you receive interim payments until the final settlement is received
Having the expertise of a No Win No Fee solicitor working on your struck by moving object at work claim, can help speed up what can be a complex legal process. With this said, the sooner a claim is filed, the better because it can take time to gather all the evidence required to prove your case.
Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Struck By a Moving Object at Work Claim?
As previously mentioned, solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims would initially need to establish you have a valid before agreeing to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. Once they are satisfied that you have a strong claim against a negligent employer, they would offer to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement which in short, means you would not have to worry about finding the funds to pay for the legal representation you receive from the outset of your case right through to when your claim is settled.
With this said, you would need to provide as much evidence as possible which includes all reports of the workplace incident that left you injured and all medical reports you may have initially received. The more details surrounding the circumstances that led up to the accident together with where and when the incident occurred, the stronger your case against an employer would be. You would also need to gather witness statements and their contact details together with information about your employer’s insurance provider.
A lawyer would then deal with all aspects of your struck by moving object at work claim by contacting both your employer and their liability insurance provider. There are time limits associated with all correspondence between you, the claimant and the defendant which in this instance is your employer. If the insurance provider fails to respond to your lawyer in a timely manner, it may be necessary to file court proceedings. However, the majority of accident at work claims are dealt with by an insurance provider before this becomes necessary. As such, your lawyer would negotiate with the insurer providing your struck by moving object at work claim is not disputed by your employer.
If you would like to know more about the Health and Safety Executive regulations regarding struck by moving objects at work, the following link provides essential reading:
To find out more about your employer’s responsibilities in the workplace, the following link provides information on the laws and legislation that must be adhered to:
The following link provides useful information on the law relating to personal protective equipment in the workplace: